Austrian know-how for the electrification of Tanzania
RP Globals Joint Venture JUMEME opens solar powered energy supply system
The Austrian company RP Global, the majority owner of the Tanzanian company JUMEME Rural Power Supply Ltd., and the European Union have officially put into operation a power supply system in Mulumo, an island located on Lake Victoria. The Mulumo facility is one of a total of eleven solar-powered systems in operation on ten different islands on the Tanzanian side of Lake Victoria this month. This is the “Micro Power Economy Tanzania Roll-out” project, implemented by JUMEME and partially funded by the European Union.
The aim is to electrify Tanzania’s rural regions, which can not be connected to the national grid due to the poverty and vastness of the country. “Over the last twelve months, JUMEME has installed 11 photovoltaic systems and over 180km of low and medium voltage grids on the islands of Lake Victoria, providing power to 20 villages with a total population in excess of 80,000,” said Leo Schiefermüller, Africa Director RP Global and Managing Director of TerraProjects. “We are proud to be able to make a contribution to the region with know-how and commitment from Austria,” emphasizes Schiefermüller. Residential houses, schools, hospitals and businesses benefit from the new solar hybrid power supply systems. The availability of clean electricity should, above all, promote local economic activities. The government speaks of a small scale industrialization and supports the project with funding from REA, the country’s “Rural Energy Agency”.
With a budget of 16 million euros, JUMEME will build and operate solar-powered mini-grids in remote Tanzanian settlements. The venture, with a total amount of 7.4 million euros, is supported substantially by the Energy Facility of the European Union. Tanzania’s Rural Energy Agency (REA) also provides important grants as part of its results-oriented funding program, while JUMEME’s shareholders, most of them the Austrian RP Global, provide the necessary equity capital.
JUMEME has been operating a pilot project on the island of Ukara since 2016 and will now operate 11 additional mini-grids on the islands of Lake Victoria. In addition to this first expansion phase, 11 additional mini-grids are being built on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. The implementation of these additional mini-grids will also be partially funded by the EU and completion is expected in 2020. JUMEME will then be the energy provider of over 170,000 people.